Hemingford Grey shown within Cambridgeshire
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Hemingford Grey is a village and civil parish in Cambridgeshire, England. Hemingford Grey lies approximately 4 miles (6 km) east of Huntingdon. Hemingford Grey is situated within Huntingdonshire which is a non-metropolitan district of Cambridgeshire as well as being a historic county of England.
In Anglo-Saxon times the neighbouring villages of Hemingford Grey and Hemingford Abbots were a single estate. In the ninth century they were split into two. In 1066 "Little Hemingford", as it was known, was acquired by nearby Ramsey Abbey. In around 1140 Payn of Hemingford began the construction of Hemingford Manor, one of the oldest inhabited buildings in England, as well as the present church. The manor was then owned by the Turberville family who for a while gave their name to the village.
In 1276 the village was given its present name by the de Grey family. The manor remained in the possession of the Greys until seized by Henry VII in the fifteenth century after George Grey, 2nd Earl of Kent was unable to settle his debts. The manor was subsequently leased to a number of people, including the great-grandfather of Oliver Cromwell.
Listed as Emingeforde in the Domesday Book, the name Hemingford means "the ford of the people of Hemma or Hemmi", where Hemma is believed to be the name of a Saxon chief. The village was at different times known as East Hemingeford (11th century), Hamicheford (12th), Hemmingeforde Turbervill (13th-14th), Hemmingeforde Parva (13th-14th) and Hemingford Priors (14th-15th).
Hemingford Grey grew considerably in the 19th century especially in the area of the London Road which is about a mile east of the village centre and nearer to St Ives. Here there has been some industrial development, a petrol station and the St Ives Motel. The village continued to grow between the wars when simple and attractive bungalows with good–sized gardens were built followed, in more recent years, by several small estate developments.
As a civil parish, Hemingford Grey has a parish council. The parish council is elected by the residents of the parish who have registered on the electoral roll; the parish council is the lowest tier of government in England. A parish council is responsible for providing and maintaining a variety of local services including allotments and a cemetery; grass cutting and tree planting within public open spaces such as a village green or playing fields. The parish council reviews all planning applications that might affect the parish and makes recommendations to Huntingdonshire District Council, which is the local planning authority for the parish. The parish council also represents the views of the parish on issues such as local transport, policing and the environment. The parish council raises its own tax to pay for these services, known as the parish precept, which is collected as part of the Council Tax. The parish council consists of thirteen councillors and a parish clerk. The parish council normally meets on Mondays, two times every month in the Reading Room in Hemingford Grey.
Hemingford Grey was in the historic and administrative county of Huntingdonshire until 1965. From 1965, the village was part of the new administrative county of Huntingdon and Peterborough. Then in 1974, following the Local Government Act 1972, Hemingford Grey became a part of the county of Cambridgeshire. Hemingford Grey is a part of the district ward of The Hemingfords for Huntingdonshire District Council and is represented on the district council by two councillors. For Cambridgeshire County Council Hemingford Grey is part of the electoral division of The Hemingfords and Fen Stanton  and is represented on the county council by one councillor.
At Westminster, Hemingford Grey is in the parliamentary constituency of Huntingdon, and is represented in the House of Commons by Jonathan Djanogly (Conservative). Jonathan Djanogly has represented the constituency since 2001. The previous member of parliament was John Major (Conservative) who represented the constituency between 1983 and 2001. For the European Parliament Hemingford Grey is in the East of England (European Parliament constituency).
It is situated on the southern bank of the River Great Ouse in the county of Cambridgeshire, with the northern bank occupied by the flood meadow. Until 1965 it was in Huntingdonshire and between 1965 and 1974 it was in the short-lived county of Huntingdon and Peterborough. It adjoins Hemingford Abbots to the west and St Ives on the north of the river and the A14 trunk road passes through the parish about a mile south of the main settlement.
Culture and community
The centre of the village has an attractive mixture of buildings including thatched timber-framed cottages and the church with its unique truncated spire. Along the riverside path is the Norman Manor House 'The Manor', claimed to be the oldest inhabited house in the United Kingdom, where Lucy Boston the children's writer lived and which is open to the public by prior arrangement.
The village is home to a village shop, a primary school, and The Cock public house. The post office closed in 2003, but there is a post office run from St James' Parish Centre. The 19th century Reading Room is still used for community meetings.
Hemingford Grey is a vibrant community with many and varied voluntary organisations providing recreation, education and sporting facilities for residents. Among note is the annual Hemingfords' Regatta, held annually with the adjoining village of Hemingford Abbots since 1901 and believed to be among the oldest village regattas in the country.
With no church listed in the Domesday Book, it is believed the church, which is dedicated to St James, was first built in the first half of the twelfth century by Payn of Hemingford, a tenant of Ramsey Abbey, and was enlarged over the following centuries. Parts of the medieval church still survive in the south aisle and nave.
The spire collapsed during a hurricane in 1741 and instead of being rebuilt was replaced with eight ball finials at its base. The church is still in active use with up to three services on a Sunday and many more in the week. The church undertook the second phase of a restoration project in 2013 and was closed from March till September. The main part of this work was to replace plasterwork which has been significantly damaged over the years by damp and modern repair and to restore the arcades stonework.
Farming is still the main land-use with large arable fields to the south and meadows on the low ground near the river. There is limited employment in the village but in recent years there has been a considerable increase in the number of people working from home. This has led to many services being available in the village.
- "Hemingford Grey, 2001 Census" (PDF).
- Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 153 Bedford & Huntingdon (St Neots & Biggleswade) (Map). Ordnance Survey. 2013. ISBN 9780319231722.
- "Village History". hemingfordgrey.org.uk.
- William Page, Granville Proby, S. Inskip Ladds (editors) (1932). A History of the County of Huntingdon: Volume 2. Victoria County History. pp. 309–314.
- "Hemingford Grey Parish Council: Councillors". www.hemingfordgrey.org.uk. Hemingford Grey Parish Council. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
- "Ordnance Survey Election Maps". www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk. Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- "Huntingdonshire District Council: Councillors". www.huntsdc.gov.uk. Huntingdonshire District Council. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- "Cambridgeshire County Council: Councillors" (pdf). www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk. Cambridgeshire County Council. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
- "Hemingford Regatta". Hunts Post. July 14, 2008.
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